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NOVA partners with Virginia Tech in NIH grant

NIH Biology Workshop

Northern Virginia Community College biology instructors participate in a workshop led by Kristi DeCourcy, senior research associate and laboratory manager at Virginia Tech’s Fralin Life Science Institute. The workshop was made possible by a grant from the National Institutes of Health under a program called Bridges to the Baccalaureate.
NOVA Manassas Biology Faculty
NOVA-Manassas faculty members practice new experiments during a workshop. From left: Geeta Jadhav, Mark O’Connor, Rohini Ganjoo and Alen Karamian.

Northern Virginia Community College is partnering with Virginia Tech in a program funded through a grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health.

Called Bridges to the Baccalaureate, the grant promotes partnerships between community colleges and universities to enhance the pool of community college students from diverse backgrounds who pursue research careers in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.

Ia Gomez, assistant dean for sciences at NOVA’s Manassas Campus, is serving as program director. “Bridges to the Baccalaureate is intended to generate interest in biomedical and behavioral sciences among underrepresented Virginia students through engaging research experiences combined with academic support and mentoring to promote persistence, achievement and timely progress through the bachelor’s degree,” she said.

During the five-year grant period, activities will focus on facilitating opportunities for NOVA science students and helping them transfer to four-year institutions such as Virginia Tech.

Planning got underway in October 2013 with a meeting at NOVA-Manassas to discuss strategies for successful implementation. Meeting participants included a wide range of Virginia Tech and NOVA personnel, from biology faculty to lab technicians, counselors and administrators.

Activities continued in December with a workshop for NOVA biology faculty and staff led by Kristi DeCourcy, senior research associate and laboratory manager at Virginia Tech’s Fralin Life Science Institute. The lessons learned are being used in 15 NOVA biology labs during the current semester. Students in these classes will also have the chance to apply for summer research opportunities at Virginia Tech.

To learn more, contact Gomez at igomez@nvcc.edu or 703-530-8255.

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.